Piratical? More like piradical!
When news spread that respected designer Ron “Lovable Curmudgeon” Gilbert had left his post at Double Fine to pursue unnamed passion projects and vague future opportunities, I'm not going to lie: I didn't believe him for a second. With The Cave having reaped rave reviews from all the most storied publications, it seemed more likely that Gilbert had taken the instant millions that come with positive press and run off to his own private Monkey Island. Upon further inspection of a recent post on his GrumpyGamer blog, however, it seems that there might actually be something to his claims of “toiling away.” And to think, I assumed that was just code for “rolling around in piles of unmarked dollar bills.”
In a triumphant return to the world of swashbuckling and Vitamin C deficiency, Gilbert took to the open waters of the Inter-webs to show off the first details of his first project post-Double Fine, currently titled (pause for deep breath) Scurvy Scallywags in The Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty: A Musical Match-3 Pirate RPG. Born of his love for match-3 games (which he describes as “zen-like” experiences), the game looks to be an inventive twist on a tried and true formula.
Instead of dropping predictably from the top of the screen, new shapes collapse into view in the direction that you last swiped to make your match. The whole while, your titular sword-toting hero is there on the board with you, making every trio you clear an opportunity to strategically move from place to place fighting baddies that pop up around the playing field. Looking at early screenshots, it seems like Scurvy Scallywags will be styled as a bite-sized voyage on the high seas, with each level taking you across a world map in search of the pieces of a renowned sea shanty.
So, basically, we're talking PuzzleQuest meets Monkey Island. Suddenly, the only thing Ron Gilbert is guilty of is not releasing this way sooner. Look for Scurvy Scallywags in The Voyage to Discover the Ultimate Sea Shanty “in the next month or so” on iPhone and iPad.